Rev. Rich Lang
Learning what democracy looks like
Democracies crumble when they become corrupted through the law. Step by step, legal procedures and precedents are enacted that take away one freedom at a time until democracy becomes a shell. For example, within days of the twin towers of the Word Trade Center falling an already-prepared legal Patriot Act was rushed through Congress, becoming the new framework of our now-atrophied civil rights.
Recently the Supreme Court enacted a stunning legal decision that grants corporations unlimited ability to corrupt democracy through open bribes. The Citizens United decision has elevated the fictionalized corporate person above those of us of mortal flesh and blood. The corporate person with almost unlimited financial means has been given legal authority to impose its will and agenda on the body politic. The corporate person, already owning the means of production has merged into itself the ownership of privatized militias, political parties and the media. Put it all together and we the people have become like puny David in a battle against awesome Goliath.
This political battle is also a deeply spiritual, religious struggle. The corporate person, increasingly given the rights of citizenship is, in fact, immortal. In ancient times it would have been called a principality or an idol or realistically, a god that promises salvation insisting on our loyalty and commitment, in other words, our worship. I would submit that the corporate person is a contemporary god and we are currently in a deeply spiritual struggle for whose values and vision rules planet earth. For Christians, the corporate person is the latest manifestation of pharaoh who battles the God of freedom for the souls of human beings.
This battle is the continual struggle between those who control through domination, versus those who insist on freedom of governance. The God of Christian story is a force within history best defined as the passionate quest for freedom from fear and oppression. This understanding of God is at risk in a world that attempts to put all governing power under the influence of One Source that insists on shaping us into its image. Like the mythic ring of Tolkien’s Trilogy, the corporate person seeks to bind us all. What we need is a movement of Hobbits that have the courage to confront and resist such tyranny.
Corporations seek to rule the world using the cover of law to hide their nefarious intentions. I’m involved in a group that is attempting to put together a means of resistance to their chicanery. We’re bringing a democracy school to Seattle as a way to mobilize against the new realities of corporate-governed life. Realities that have those of progressive vision creatively striving to devise effective strategies that can invoke freedom and hope back into our beloved country, and our people and land.
I’ll be writing more about this in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, if ye be interested go to our website (http://www.peoplefirst.us).
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